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Amazon’s Alexa now delivers personalized results for up to 10 voices

Amazon today announced that Alexa-enabled devices can now recognize unique human voices, giving the assistant the power to deliver a personalized experience when it hears you speak. Once a Voice Profile has been created — by reciting 10 phrases to the Alexa app — whenever Alexa hears “Play music” or “Play my messages,” the AI […]

Facebook’s coming blockchain problem

GUEST: Much has been written about the Russia-Facebook advertising scandal of 2017. The episode has revealed the first (and maybe only) achilles heel for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. His profit-making machine depends on being one of the two main outlets (the other being Google) where the world spends its 0 billion+ in advertising dollars. Yet, […]

Facebook launches two datasets to improve AI video analysis

Facebook launched a pair of new open datasets today to help developers and data scientists train artificial intelligence systems to better understand videos. The Scenes, Objects, and Actions dataset (SOA) will provide devs with a massive set of videos with multiple labels for what’s going on inside them. Each video has been tagged by trained […]

Google uncovers Russian-bought ads aimed at influencing U.S. election

(Reuters) — Google has discovered Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on its YouTube, Gmail and Google Search products in an effort to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a person briefed on the company’s probe told Reuters on Monday. The ads do not appear to be from the same […]

The state of Twitter: Trump passes Pope as most-followed world leader

Having successfully weaponized Twitter to win the presidency and bludgeon our senses with a constant barrage of egotistical and offensive tweets, President Trump can now also claim the crown of being the world’s most-followed leader on Twitter. Way to go, Twitter! According to the latest update from Twiplomacy, an ongoing social media project run by […]

Facebook: 10 million U.S. users saw Russia-linked ads

(Reuters) — Some 10 million people in the United States saw politically divisive ads on Facebook that the company said were purchased in Russia in the months before and after last year’s U.S. presidential election, Facebook said on Monday. Facebook, which had not previously given such an estimate, said in a statement that it used […]

Spain’s internet censorship during Catalonian referendum was completely unjustified

The ruthless efficiency with which the Spanish government censored the Internet ahead of the referendum on Catalonian independence foreshadowed the severity of its crackdown at polling places on October 1. We have previously written about one aspect of that censorship; the raid of the .cat top-level domain registry. But there was much more to it […]

Amazon launches Alexa and Echo by invitation in India, Japan coming later this year

Amazon has announced that its smart Echo speakers and accompanying Alexa voice service are now available in India, but by invitation only. Additionally, Amazon announced that the Echo will be landing in Japan “later this year,” according to a separate press release. Those wishing to buy an Echo, Echo Plus, or Echo Dot in India […]

Educational quiz platform Kahoot launches premium subscription service to make corporate training fun

Kahoot, an online learning platform that lets teachers create and tailor quizzes for their classes, has announced its first shift into monetization with the launch of a new premium version of the service. With Kahoot Plus, the Norwegian startup is targeting companies with a product geared toward corporate training initiatives. Kahoot Plus subscribers will be […]

Microsoft resuscitates AltspaceVR for social mixed reality

Microsoft announced today that it has acquired the AltspaceVR team as it announced its big initiative to created a hardware and software ecosystem around Windows mixed reality headsets. Microsoft didn’t explain the terms of the deal, saying only that AltspaceVR is joining Microsoft. Microsoft calls the emerging technology “mixed reality” to encompass both augmented reality […]